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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 06:46 GMT
Welsh firmly back Britain's Union
Flags of England, Scotland and Wales

There is strong support for Wales remaining part of Great Britain, according to a survey for the BBC.

Nearly 70% of people in Wales said they wanted to keep the Union as it is with 20% being in favour of independence.

The BBC Wales/Newsnight poll found 48% thought Wales would lose financially by splitting from England and Scotland whilst 14% believed it would benefit.

The telephone survey marks the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union which brought the three countries together.

But 33% of respondents believed Wales' culture would be enhanced by a split, 13% thought it would be diminished.

The Royal Mint's 2 coin commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union, issued on Tuesday
68% support the Union
20% want independence
48% think independence would damage Wales financially
14% think independence would benefit Wales financially
Source: ORB telephone survey for BBC Wales/Newsnight

Support for the Union was strongest in England, where 74% of those surveyed wanted to keep it.

It was weakest in Scotland but 56% of Scots still wanted to remain British, with 32% wanting independence.

The 20% in favour in favour of independence in Wales is higher than in similar previous surveys, which have tended to hover around the 10 to 15% mark.

A good majority throughout Britain thought Wales, England and Scotland would remain together for at least another 50 years.

Fifthy seven per cent of people in Wales believed this to be the case.

There was also considerable support throughout Britain for the creation of an English parliament, now that Wales and Scotland have devolution.

Sixty per cent of those surveyed in England wanted their own parliament, 52% of Scots and 48% of people in Wales wanted devolution for England.


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Wales was united with England in the 16th Century but the full Union was completed 300 years ago when Scotland signed an Act of Union.

The study follows claims by Welsh Secretary Peter Hain that the UK could be broken up by a coalition of Tories and nationalists.

Mr Hain said Plaid Cymru would damage Wales economically by pursuing independence while the Conservatives would harm the Union by cutting the role of Welsh MPs.

Plaid and the Conservatives have accused Mr Hain of trying to scare people into voting Labour in May's Welsh assembly election.

The nationalists here in Wales and in Scotland like to see devolution in the context of autonomy within the EU
Griff, Cardiff

The telephone poll was carried out by Opinion Research Business for BBC Newsnight between 5-8 January.

They surveyed 527 of adults in Wales, 883 in England and 543 in Scotland.

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